Constitution Elm – Corydon, Indiana - Atlas Obscura

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Constitution Elm

Corydon, Indiana

Indiana's first constitution was drafted in the shade of this elm tree in the summer of 1816. 


When the summer heat became unbearable for the delegates writing Indiana’s first state constitution, they would continue their work in the shade of a large elm tree.

Corydon, Indiana, was the capital of the new state upon inception from the Indiana Territory in 1816. Delegates from across the territory would converge to attend the constitutional convention held in a log cabin at the corner of Elm and High Street, starting on June 10.

In this log cabin, the summer heat would often become stifling, so to cool off and continue the convention’s work, the delegates would retreat to the shade of a large elm tree further down High Street. This tree became memorialized as the Constitution Elm. The tree would continue to live until 1925, when the trunk would be preserved inside a sandstone brick structure.

A plaque was placed there in 1934, telling the story of the large elm tree witness to Indiana history.

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